We’re having stew and apple pie.
I think I know the reason why
A folded napkin’s at each plate
And Dad’s home early ‘stead of late.
Mom put the Sunday dishes out—
That is a clue without a doubt.
The missionaries are coming to dinner!
I’ll tuck my shirt in, comb my hair,
And pick up toys from everywhere.
I’ll mind my manners at the table,
Be as polite as I am able
So I can show to those who serve
The reverence that they deserve.
The missionaries are coming to dinner!
They’re really two quite special guys
Who like to laugh and eat Mom’s pies.
But what I like the most of all
Is that they are so straight and tall.
Someday I just might be as they
In a country far away.
And another child’ll smile and say,
“The missionaries are coming to dinner!”

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison